As the 18th edition of the Dubai Airshow comes to an end, Airport Technology has tracked the vast array of events that took place across the five days.

The Middle East’s premier aviation expo played host to more than 1,400 exhibitors and showcased a variety of companies from the commercial, general and military aviation industries.

Emirates made orders for 110 aircraft and aircraft interiors, part of the airline’s $2bn retrofit programme from 2022.

Demonstrations across the AAM sector presented a collection of highly advanced electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) displays.

The 2023 show introduced the “Advanced Aerial Mobility Pavilion”, which focused on revealing “cutting-edge innovations” across novel flight technologies.

The air show highlighted the strong demand for wide-body aircraft, reflecting the growth in post-pandemic travel.

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Emirates paved the way

UAE flag carrier Emirates set the stage and commenced the week with an initial wide-body aircraft order valued at $52bn.

Rounding off the week, Emirates added 15 A350-900s to its portfolio on Thursday, taking its total order of Airbus aircraft across the week to 65.

Emirates announced the construction of a $950m engineering facility, which is set to commence construction by 2024 and was “purpose-built” to support its fleet by 2040.

The centre will span over one million square feet and is stated to be completed by 2027.

Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Group, emphasised the strong investment made by the airline

Al Maktoum said: “With the projected growth of the region’s aviation sector, Emirates’ new engineering facility will play a key role as a centre of excellence, attracting the involvement of global players across the aviation supply chain. It’ll create thousands of skilled technical jobs and add value to Dubai’s economy.”

As previously noted, Emirates continued its commitment to the French market with a $1.2bn round of aircraft interior contracts.

eVTOLS took to the stage

Archer Aviation debuted its Midnight eVTOL aircraft. This followed the aircraft taking its first uncrewed and tethered test flight in late October 2023.

Archer announced Air Chateau’s planned purchase of 100 Midnight eVTOL aircraft on 16 November, with a contract value of up to $500m and aiding in Archer’s plans to commence air taxi operations in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai in 2026.

The MoU was signed at the Dubai Air Show and will oversee a pre-delivery payment of $1m by the end of Q4 2023.

Archer founder and CEO Adam Goldstein said: “Their recognition that our Midnight aircraft meets what the customer demands in the UAE market and desire to secure the purchase of up to 100 Midnight aircraft is another exciting validation of our efforts to bring to market an aircraft that will revolutionise how people move in and around cities.”

Manufacturers bolster order books

Due to a large influx in wide-body aircraft orders, US-based manufacturing giant Boeing and French manufacturer Airbus have effectively boosted their order books in deals that reflect a surge in traveller demand.

The demand for Airbus wide-body aircraft was similar to Boeing’s, with the European manufacturer racking up orders from flag carriers Egypt Air and Ethiopian Airlines Group.

Both flag carriers signed deals with Airbus for the order of 21 A350-900s.